Overall Champion Set to be Decided at 11U/14U NTIS Champions Cup

Southwest holds three-point lead in standings

CARY, N.C. – With two weeks in the books at the 2021 National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Champions Cup, only three days of games remain before a champion is crowned.

While the event has winners in each age group, the regions are also competing for the overall Champions Cup. Each game matters, with a point system deciding the overall winner. Teams receive 10 points for a win in bracket play and six for a win in consolation play. A loss in bracket play yields a team five points, and a loss in consolation is two points. A tie in bracket play is seven points, and a consolation tie is three points.

Entering 11U/14U play, which begins on Friday morning at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, North Carolina, the Southwest currently owns a three-point lead over the South. The Southeast is also in the mix, just a point behind the South.

NTIS Program Director Ann Claire Roberson is excited about the level of competition at the event.

“The past two weeks of NTIS have gone really well,” Roberson said. “We’re really excited about the talent amongst all of the age groups so far, and we’re excited to see what the 11U and 14U age groups bring to the table.”

Pool play action will begin for the 11U and 14U age groups on Friday, playing through Sunday. The 11U games will be held at Thomas Brooks Park, while the 14U athletes will compete at the National Training Complex, including Coleman Field.

Each age group at the NTIS has been not only competing for their regions, but also looking to secure a spot in future USA Baseball programming. This weekend, the 11U players are looking to earn a trip to 2022 12U National Team Trials, while the selected 14U players will go to 2022 15U National Team Trials.

Each weekend, the NTIS Task Force works to identify players for future USA Baseball programming. The task force roams from field to field during games, and helps with instruction during on-field workouts.

Roberson has been impressed by the task force’s hard work and passion for finding the best players for USA Baseball at NTIS. 

“The task force has done an incredible job over the past two weeks,” she said. “They’ve had some long, hard decisions and conversations about the large group of players in the event. It makes it hard to make selections, but they work even beyond when the event is completed.”

The players, who are among the best in their region, have given the task force a lot to think about and discuss over the event’s first two weeks.

“We’ve been really happy with the level of talent that has come through the NTIS so far this year,” Roberson said. “The talent has been phenomenal across all ages and all regions. 

Selections to future USA Baseball programming will be announced on September 14th. Selected players will be emailed, and announcements will be made throughout USA Baseball’s social media platforms.

The 11U/14U weekend kicked off with an opening ceremony on Wednesday night before the teams returned to the National Training Complex for photos, PDP testing, and on-field workouts on Thursday. Athletes from all over their respective regions are just meeting for the first time, but all have the same goals in mind: to represent their regions and to try to secure a spot in future USA Baseball programming.

With the overall championship up for grabs, the race for the Champions Cup is sure to be a tight finish. Follow along with all of the action on USABaseball.com, and by following on Twitter at @USABEvents.